Healthcare documentation today has proved to be a highly remunerative career choice with the greatest advantage of work from home option paying on par with the other trending industries.
Medical transcription hierarchy
- Medical Transcription Trainee
- Jr. MLS (medical language specialist)
- Sr. MLS (Direct Upload/Non-edit)
- Jr. Editor
- Sr. Editor
- QA (Quality Analyst)
- QC (Quality Controller)
- Team leader
- Account Manager
There is ample growth opportunity in this industry for those who are dedicated and possess team management skills. With experience comes productivity (accuracy and speed) resulting in greater pay. For a QA or QC who is very proactive and wishes to assume the mantle, there is good scope to become a Team Lead or an Account Manager. These designations are well paid when compared to a QA or QC.
In general, hospitals and clinics prefer to outsource their transcription work either to domestic (on-shore) or international (off-shore) service providers to save on cost and time. The time zone differential between the U.S. and India works to the advantage of clients as medical records are downloaded, transcribed and transmitted back overnight for access by health practitioners in the U.S., the following working day. This ensures the fastest turnaround time in the industry.
According to a research report Transparency Market Research has recently published, the global medical transcription services market is expected to grow at a 5.6% CAGR during the period between 2013 and 2019. The research report, titled ‘Medical Transcription Services Market outsourcing and Offshoring – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019’, states that the global medical transcription services market was poised at US$41.4 billion in 2012 and is predicted to be poised at US$60.6 billion by 2019.
A key factor that persuades developed economies such as the US to outsource their medical transcription jobs to developing countries such as India and the Philippines is the availability of cheap and qualified labor in these countries. The medical transcription firms in these countries have better infrastructures with backups for labor and internet and are thus capable of providing round-the-clock uninterrupted transcription services. The skills of medical transcriptionists in these countries include a better understanding of the spoken English language. The majority of these professionals have excellent academic qualifications and in-depth awareness of the subject.
Currently, North America happens to be the highest ranking country in MT services due to the rise in aging population and passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, 2013 and is expected to grow more in the future. Middle East countries such as UAE and Qatar are trending markets along with Latin America.
In India, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Trivandrum are the top-tier cities in the MT industry.
Medical Transcription Services Market to be Propelled by Rise in Healthcare Automation, to Reach US$60.6 Billion by 2019.
- Americas, APAC, EMEA
The MT services industry is very challenging and extremely competitive. The big players in this industry focus on standardizing their processes which multiplies their growth potential manifold. The leading vendors in the MT industry are:
- IMedeX Information Services
- MModal Inc.
- Nuance Communications
- Precyse Solutions
Fact – No it is not; although, getting certified will increase candidate credibility. These are optional and can be obtained eventually. RHDS (Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist) and CHDS (Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist) are the AHDI certified exams, which primarily require completion of the basic formal MT program. Once done, candidates qualify for the first level exam (RHDS). To appear for the CHDS exam, a minimum of 2 years’ experience in this industry is required as it is highly challenging testing both theoretical and practical knowledge covering all specialties of medicine.
Fact – Good typing skills is definitely an asset, but not a prerequisite. It is the attitude that plays a very important role in becoming a successful MT.
- Quest for knowledge and love of language – as it is a continuous learning process.
- Self-sufficient and composed frame of mind.
- The capacity remain focused and stay motivated always
Fact – To make it into the medical transcription industry, formal training from a reputed medical transcription school is required. A period of 3-6 months has to be dedicated towards receiving the formal training, which can be acquired online as well. Training will cover every aspect required to be a good medical transcriptionist, including technology, grammar and punctuations, Americanism, formatting rules and report types, language of medicine, legal aspects, and last but not the least exposure to multispecialty medical reports in all work types.
Fact – Automated speech recognition (ASR) technology is used by hospitals and clinics to economize on transcription cost. Technically there are massive challenges in speech recognition. Back in the 80s and 90s there were great hopes for speech recognition. Many of the early technical issues were solved, things like digitizing the sound and comparing the sound to existing patterns, compensating for slow and fast speech. It is very important to understand the context to get the right words even if the sounds are correctly identified, making it infinitely more difficult. ASR has given a revolutionary dimension to the MT Industry but not an ultimate solution.
Fact – The need to capture the unique details of a patient’s story is so important that an alliance of healthcare vendors, providers, and associations joined three years ago to address the issue. The Health Story Project is producing data standards that will allow transcribed narrative notes (dictations) to be electronically transferred into EHR systems. As information is being dictated, it is also being structured, tagged, and coded. According to Anderson of the AC Group, “discrete-reportable transcription is fast becoming a requirement for successful EHRs, further promoting transcription’s role as a friend of the EHR.”